This post features a Q&A conducted by Saverina with contributor Dr. Andrea Maxim.
Should we go vegan because that’s what Beyoncé is doing, or should we wait until we’ve done thorough research?
Going vegan is completely a personal choice. I don’t recommend starting a diet just because a celebrity is doing it, you should pick a diet program because it fully resonates with you and you’re motivated to adapt your lifestyle to it. Vegan is NOT easy. If you’re currently a meat eater, going straight to vegan is going to be a tough transition.
Why would someone choose to go vegan?
Most commonly it’s exposure to animal cruelty and choosing not to support farm-raised animals. With documentaries like, Cowspiracy and Food, Inc. more and more people are learning just where our commercially raised meat is coming from and how the animals are being treated. For many, that’s enough to get them off of anything “animal” for life. Others might have friends that have gone vegan and are exposed to this kind of eating through their peers or people they look up to.
How do you transition?
The best way to transition is to start vegetarian first. Get used to getting your proteins from sources other than meat. This will be the most difficult part. For most, it’s already hard enough to consume enough protein throughout the day, let alone cutting out animal protein completely to do so. Luckily, transitioning to vegetarian then to vegan is much easier with the popularity it has received. Many companies now produce all vegan protein powders and supplement lines. Speaking of which, transitioning to vegetarian or vegan automatically means you wont get enough iron and vitamin B12 in your diet, so be ready to start taking that every day. (The best source of iron and B12 in the diet comes from animal meats, like red meat). Again, I cannot stress enough how difficult it is to do vegan “right”. You really need to get ready to mass prep and make almost all of your meals from scratch. There are still very few restaurants that offer vegan alternatives, so much of the responsibility is on you to prepare your food ahead of time in order to eat your meals.